This month, my favourite month, is almost over. And I feel as if, for the most of it, I haven’t been present. I feel as if I’ve just been bouncing from one event, one to-do to another without taking a breath. If I wasn’t doing something for someone else, then I was getting prepared to do something for someone else. I’ve had a few moments of disconnect from self just because I haven’t been able to take the time to check in with myself. Or so I thought. I had the idea that I’m too busy for self-care. I was of the idea that I couldn’t hold another thing in my head that wasn’t contributing to the task in hand. Anything that I believed wasn’t adding to the event moving forward then it had to go or didn’t gain my attention. And this included myself, my own self-care and self-love.

Love is my word of 2019. And as we arrive at the end of October with just the mad freewheel down to Christmas and the New Year, I’m not sure if I’m further along this road of love, especially self-love as this is a practice that takes time and commitment. My self-love practice has been intermittent and practically non-existent this month. But instead of beating myself up about it, I’m choosing kindness. I’m choosing to be gentle with myself and to just start again.
“There is no beginning too small.”
— Henry David Thoreau

Writing and not writing: breaking through the trust

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I’m not writing.
Writing that sentence makes me feel a whole lot better. I’m a writer who’s not writing. I know it happens to us all so I’m trying to be gentle with myself. It’s the summer holidays and my routine has gone to pop and I’m okay with that, I think. But there’s still a part of me who’s thinking I’m a fraud because I’m not writing. I’m even finding it hard to fill a page while doing my morning pages. I blame routine but I know it’s because I’m tired and I’m not allowing myself that much needed rest because I think I should be writing and doing( project related stuff).
Read the rest of the essay over on my Patreon Page.

One Poem by Sheree Mack

This month saw me embrace the Nine Muses Poetry Special Challenge which is a response to an image. The image was ‘ a tuft of grass’ by Dürer. Exploring Black Nature, at the moment, meant that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write about the landscape and how our bodies relate with her.

NINE MUSES POETRY

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Duplex (you grow from every mistake you have ever made)

After Jericho Brown and Steve McQueen

There’s a weight on your chest, on your back.
Tufts of meadow grass, plantain, yarrow.

Tufts of meadow grass, plantain, yarrow,
creeping bent that reaches to the sun.

Creeping and bent, you reach for the sun.
Showing what they look like matters now.

What matters is showing what they look like, right?
The intimate physicality?

The intimate physicality
distracts from what’s going on inside.

Inside, beneath the soil roots detach.
Shame’s blanket thickens around past wounds.

Shame thickens like a blanket around past wounds.
It’s a weight on your chest, on your back.

 

Sheree Mack is a Creatrix living on the North East Coast of England. She facilitates visual journaling workshops, nationally and internationally, supporting women in their exploration of their authentic voices. She is…

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Breedlove

After Toni Morrison’s, The Bluest Eye
the first literature text in which I found myself reflected

I.

i tell you this — they gave me milk,
in the heat it clings to the tongue —
a stale blossoming

outside the mug — shirley temple.
56 curls, blond curls, white dimpled cheeks — the bluest eyes

Beauty — for the taking,
to touch, to taste, to tend

a fire blisters my heart muscles
no amount of snow drinking could cool

ugliness oozes out of my dull night skin
as they dump their waste on me

a violence – with no idea of its depth –
hitches a ride on my hunched back

II.
::
whipped
::

III.

I show you this —a piece of mirror
pierces my hand, drawing blood —
the pain is absorbed

Just I don’t know why you have to look every minute. They aren’t going anywhere.

a pair of new blue eyes — i’ve got
a new gaze — a new presence
they can’t even look at me

my eyes are bluer than theirs — see
it won’t be long now until sweet love
pours over everyone like little pieces of sun

5 things I am grateful for this week

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I’m a firm believer of taking the time out of a busy schedule and running around like a chicken with no head to count my blessing. Expressing gratitude for the life I have created is a practice that keeps me grounded.

This week I am grateful for: –

My beautiful daughter and her hearty belly laugh which she entered this world with and continues to share.

The home we have created. This isn’t just the roof above our heads and the funds to pay the rent but also the experiences and moments we share within its walls.

My husband who may be suffering himself through mental illness but shows up for me when needed and asked.

Our creative project that will share my love of the natural world with others. This has been over 6 years in the making and it is only now that I’m appreciating that it is happening.

My friends who have stood by my through the good times but more importantly through the bad.

Painting the Feminine

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I have been blessed. Someone out there is watching me and liking what I’m doing as I share my journey with creativity and encourage more women to listen to their creative needs and wants and just do it.

I have been gifted a place on Connie Solera’s last session of Painting the Feminine; a painting ecourse where we take the time and space to explore feminine energy and wisdom.

I have completed this course twice before and was fixing to enrol on this final run but finances were just not on my side. But I sent my desires out into the Universe and they were answered with this gift.

I’m truly grateful for this opportunity to dive deeper, listening to my intuition and inner wisdom to paint from my soul and heart. I’m having such a sacred time, as painting becomes a daily practice as well as a special ritual of savouring each moment.

This piece is called: Trust. I think it’s all in their facial expressions. They are so in the know. I love them. I think I’ve found my tribe and they were inside me all along. I love that.